Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > Netherlands International Travel Information
John Adams Park 1
2244 BZ Wassenaar
Telephone: +(31) (0) 70 310 2209
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +31 (0) 70 310 2209
Fax: +(31) (0) 70 310 2207
U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam
1071 DJ Amsterdam
Telephone: +(31) (0) 20 575-5309 (Emergencies involving U.S. citizens only)
Telephone:+(31) (0) 70 310 2209 (All other calls)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(31) (0) 70 310-2209
Fax: +(31) (0) 20 575 5330
Visit the Embassy of the Netherlands website for the most current visa information.
The Netherlands is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter the Netherlands for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of the Netherlands.
Terrorism: Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. U.S. citizens should be aware that attacks can take place without prior warning.
When visiting or living in the Netherlands, you should:
Demonstrations occur regularly. Large, public demonstrations take place for a variety of political and economic issues. Demonstration organizers must obtain prior police approval, and police routinely oversee participants.
Crime: While the rate of violent crime in the Netherlands is low, tourists are often targeted by pickpockets, bag snatchers, and other petty thieves and are active in and around train, tram, and metro stations in the city center; and aboard public transportation, especially to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Thieves often work in pairs: one distracts you, often by asking for directions, while the other moves in on your unguarded property. Use your hotel safe, and keep baggage locked or secured when you are away. Avoid leaving valuables in automobiles, especially electronic devices, such as laptops, tablets, GPS devices, and mobile telephones. Never leave your personal items or baggage unattended.
Most retailers in the Netherlands only accept a “chip and pin” card and will not accept a standard U.S. credit card containing only a magnetic strip. ATM and credit card users are advised to keep an eye on their cards at all times. If you feel uncomfortable using your card for any reason, use cash. Contact your credit card provider for further guidance.
Scams: U.S. citizens overseas are frequently the victims of online financial scams. Funds lost in such scams are rarely recovered. Information on fraud schemes can be found on the U.S. Embassy and Consulate’s website, the Department of State's international financial scams page, and the FBI pages for information. If you suspect you have been targeted by a scam based in the Netherlands, you may report it to Dutch law enforcement authorities through the following police website and through the Fraud Help Desk website.
Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods, even if they are widely available, as you may be breaking U.S. and local law.
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 112 or 0900-8844 for non-emergency cases. See above for contact informationn for the U.S. Embassy The Hague and U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is well-regulated and rules in regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide lifesaving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Despite common misperceptions, marijuana and hashish are controlled substances in the Netherlands, and although not enforced in defined tourist areas, possession is a crime that can result in a fine. “Coffee shops” are havens for petty criminals who prey on tourists and other individuals under the influence of drugs. Persons who visit “coffee shops” have become victims of pickpocketing, identity theft, sexual assault, and other crimes. Visitors are cautioned against using such substances, as they are often counterfeit and can cause illness or death. It is illegal to take any controlled substance, such as marijuana, into or out of the Netherlands.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in the Netherlands. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Dutch law guarantees equality and the right to access for people with disabilities. Information about accessibility in the Netherlands for travelers with disabilities is available on the Netherlands main online portal for visitors.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Good medical facilities are widely available.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of the Netherlands to ensure the medication is legal in the Netherlands. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety:
Rail is often a convenient alternative to driving, particularly in the areas around Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam, where road congestion is frequent. Rail network information is available at http://www.ns.nl/en. It is relatively safe to travel by rail from city to city, compared to some other European countries. Taxi service in the Netherlands is safe but expensive. Trams and buses are both convenient and economical, but are often frequented by pickpockets.
Aviation Safety Oversight:
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of the Netherlands’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of the Netherland’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Mariners planning travel to the Netherlands should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.